Enhancing Learning in Economics through “Nudges”
AbstractWe test for the importance of nudges in improving student performance in Introductory Economics courses at UNC-Chapel Hill. We use a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of nudges in encouraging use of academic supports and (jointly) the use of these supports on academic performance.
With our aggregated sample the average treatment effects take the correct sign but are uniformly statistically insignificant. This near-zero average effect masks large and significant effects of nudges among subgroups of individuals: females, first-years, and individuals of color. Our results identify subgroup-activity pairings for which nudges work at the margin to encourage participation.